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Congress Opposes Simultaneous Elections to Parliament, Assemblies

The Congress on Tuesday sought to oppose the proposal for simultaneous elections to Parliament and assemblies and asked if those propagating it have no faith in the democratic process.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:March 7, 2017, 10:25 PM IST
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Congress Opposes Simultaneous Elections to Parliament, Assemblies
File photo of Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday sought to oppose the proposal for simultaneous elections to Parliament and assemblies and asked if those propagating it have no faith in the democratic process.

"Are you going to trample democracy? Are you going to cut short the tenure of Parliament and assemblies?" Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked.

He was asked to state the party's views on the issue of simultaneous conduct of the elections.

"Is the tenure (of an assembly), which is elected in accordance with the will of people, not part of an established order and constitutional practice and basic structure of the Constitution?" he asked.

Sujewala asked if those who want all elections to be held in one go have no faith in the democratic process of this country and the beauty of it.

"The democratic process is the essential strength of this country and character," he said.

The Congress had earlier sought wider consultations on holding of simultaneous elections to Parliament and assemblies.

"The Prime Minister has been very active on this issue. This is an issue that needs a larger debate. It may look theoretically very easy to say something, but realistically there may be requirements for a constitutional amendment too.

"It calls for a larger debate and all political parties must be involved. The larger question is of electoral reforms under the system. It is not having an election on a given date, but more important is electoral reforms," the party had earlier said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been propagating the idea of simultaneous elections to Parliament and state legislatures, holding the view that continuous polls affect development and halt the decision-making process.

Asked about Congress leader Karti Chidambaram's statement that political parties, including the Congress, have become "family private limited" companies, Surjewala said he would comment on it after he sees it and discuss the issue within the party.

"They (youngsters) do not have space in any party. They cannot join any traditional party, be it the Congress, DMK, or AIADMK, and come up. There is a need for a platform for them in Tamil Nadu," Karti, son of former Union minister P Chidambaram, had said in Chennai on Monday.

Surjewala said, "In the Congress, every ordinary worker, by the sheer dint of his/her hard work, can reach the highest office and that has been proved adequately by history."

Asked whether the Congress will take any action against Karti, Surjewala said he would request AICC general secretary in charge of party affairs in Tamil Nadu, Mukul Wasnik to make any further comment on it.

"I have already made such a request. He will look into the statement in detail and see what further action, if any, is required," he said.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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